A suspected cable thief, Obaji Christopher, has told operatives of the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command that he stole an armoured cable for the Light Up Lagos Project to raise money to settle down himself in Lagos State.
Christopher, who was arrested by a RRS team on Saturday at the Ojota area while digging out the armoured cable, said he had spent only two weeks in the state.
He explained that when he could not find a shelter, he started sleeping in the Ojota Motor Park, adding that a friend he met in the park introduced him to the crime.
The 23-year-old Benue State indigene was reportedly seen with an accomplice still at large, digging up the cable with a hoe and removing its silver protector.
He said, “I just arrived in Lagos about two weeks ago. When I had nowhere to stay, I started sleeping inside the Ojota Motor Park. It was at this park that I met a man called Anago, who introduced me to this job.
“Anago told me that if I was able to go for two to three operations, I would have enough money to take care of my apartment challenge. But on Saturday, we went together to Ojota for the operation. When we got there, both of us dug the ground where the cable was buried.
“We successfully pulled it out. I didn’t know how my friend escaped. When I was about packing the cable into a sack, I saw the policemen. At that point, I didn’t know what to do again and that was how I was arrested.”
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, had 52 days ago inaugurated the Light Up Lagos Project at the old tollgate area of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway.
One of the RRS men, who arrested the suspect, said the team was on a routine surveillance of the Ojota area, inward Ketu-Alapere Road at about 11.20am, when they saw the suspect.
He said, “On Saturday, during our daily patrol routine, we saw the suspect at a corner in Ojota where he was vandalising the armoured cable.
“The cable was buried after it was laid. We saw him and his accomplice digging up the cable. He was using a hoe to bring the cable to the surface, while his friend used a broken saw to cut some parts of the cable. He was unable to take to his heels because we had already surrounded the area.”
Efforts to arrest the suspect’s accomplice were said to have been abortive as no one in the Ojota Motor Park could provide any information on his whereabouts.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the state would not tolerate vandalism and sabotage of government’s efforts.
“Residents should always be on the lookout and inform the police on the activities of these vandals who are bent on sabotaging government’s efforts, “ she added.
She said the suspect had been transferred to the state Special Anti-Robbery Squad for thorough investigation.